A Different View Of Team Driving Before Going Solo

Topic 12014 | Page 1

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Michael's Comment
member avatar

Wish I had some cookies and milk for this one. I can't speak for every company or student and I agree with some parts and disagree with other parts. First off if I'm putting someone in a truck that costs $153,538 I want to know that they are not gonna have an accident with it = some companies put student in truck for two weeks or how ever many with a trainer and student does all driving with trainer in passenger seat. Upon successful completion of two weeks with trainer = job offer, hired on, what ever. Like most have stated and like myself I hate teaming let alone someone else in my personal bubble area.

Secondly, you have now moved onto the second phase which involves team driving and if you look at this from a learning perspective your going to cover a lot more ground and generates a paycheck for you as well. Me personally from a learning perspective I would rather be running from coast to coast teaming until I am fit for solo driving if it's four weeks, it's four weeks.

Lastly, in the first two weeks there are situations you may have not encountered, snow, ice, 65+ mph crosswind, big hills, mountains, yada, yada. Everything you learned in the first two weeks is going to be built upon, because no matter how nice a trainer you have if he comes flying out of the bunk slams into the shifter your going to see a side of them you do not want to.

No matter what the situation you still have someone in the truck to help you along. Whether you have to yell, kick'em, slam on the brakes what ever to get them awake and say here's what going on. I know i'm rambling again, but for that company that you desire to work for, reverse the rolls each of you is playing. Some trainers may get woke up and others will get to sleep until shift change.

But, if the trainer is constantly having to be woke up during there sleep time do you really want them driving $153,538?

And while i'm on that subject a dear friend of mine who is still driving got to encounter what happens when a student can't read bridge warnings signs because he wasn't paying attention and drove right into an eleven footer in 5th gear throwing her into the windshield. All he had to do was stop the truck and the two of them could have figured something out instead of driving when not sure of the bridge height. There went $153,538 with a trainer on board(teaming).

Some you remind me of myself when I first started out, I'm gonna grab the bull by the horns and ride which I did. My training time while driving for Transport America was a total of four weeks, two weeks with trainer awake, two weeks teaming to prove yourself. I was so happy to go solo and get my own truck, my first load was to Michigan and all the questions you had never thought of are now coming to mind and no one to ask and if you ask over the cb are they serious or just steering you in the wrong direction.

Sure it was back in the 90's when I first went through school and here it is going on 2016 and I still see the same things happening now that I did back then and now companies require longer team driving periods, does it help I don't know. I have rambled on enough and I will close my rambling with this note, I once go to pull a brand new trailer and I was on a designated truck route mind you and had two more deliveries to make before heading to the house. On my way to Milwaukee and on this designated truck route there was a tree with a tree growing out of that tree that looked to be about 3ft in diameter. While on this truck route you would think everything would be 13'6" at least, not so. I smacked that thing at 15 mph and it pretty much stopped me and there went the front right corner of that brand new trailer. This was 7 months after going solo which really butt hurt me and took any pride I had and the comments coming in over the cb ugh.

My point is this you may hate having to team drive for X amount of miles or this or that and just be ready to go solo and when you do your going to be the safest driver, be on time all the time and yada, yada, yada and then BAM! You get lax or what ever. I had to tell the company what road I was on so they could verify it was a truck route. Funny thing was others knew about the tree, just never bothered to inform me of it. I know I wandered off topic, but just think about it for a minute and if you don't like your trainer or what ever ask for another one, but if you can view the teaming experience as a prep to going solo and that is what it is leading to, your just getting yourself closer to the prize. Your own truck.

And yes, I can't stand the fact that I get talked to like I have never drove a truck before, but I just bite my tongue and listen when the instructors talk and do what I'm told as to not make any waves, but when my orientation is over and the teaming portion starts ugh. Yes, just having someone else in the truck will aggravate me to an extent, but on the up side i'm getting closer to getting my truck and if all goes well you have someone you can call upon when needed and can also speak up for you if asked how you did and yada, yada.

And no, i'm not saying this to promote any companies or anything just offering a different view point and lastly even after being solo for over a year and switching companies (back in the 90's) there was no training at A&H you took the truck and a load out with the owner sitting in the passenger seat and waited for a ya or na.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Phox's Comment
member avatar

I still fail to understand how team driving helps a trainee learn or proove anything. Since the otherhalf of that team (trainer) is supposed to be sleeping in sleeper for 8 of his 10 hours off duty. I just feel you learn the most when your trainer is in the passenger seat. I also don't think you're proving anything when the trainer is asleep. If you are going to get in an accident it doesn't matter if the trainer is asleep, passenger seat or you're solo... either way an accident is an accident, the difference is, did you give a rude awaking to trainer, did trainer get to see what happened and may be witness that it was or wasn't your fault with possible coaching or are you SOL... each of those 3 are in respective order.

team training to me is just more money for the company, not better or more learning for the trainee. if you want to give someone more training so be it, but team is not the way. I fail to see any logic in it, but i'm willing to listen if someone can prove me wrong that it's not about the company making more money instead of getting the trainee more training, but you gotta explain how not just say it is.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Phox wants "proof":

team training to me is just more money for the company, not better or more learning for the trainee. if you want to give someone more training so be it, but team is not the way. I fail to see any logic in it, but i'm willing to listen if someone can prove me wrong that it's not about the company making more money instead of getting the trainee more training, but you gotta explain how not just say it is.

Any training costs the provider money, it doesn't make money for for the company to have an experienced driver/trainer/mentor take the time to show a newbie the ropes. In fact, the trainer gets paid more just for this. How much training do you need to drive down an Interstate? In a team situation, you can do the boring part yourself, and the trainer gets his shuteye.

When I was training, my mentor set his alarm so he would be up and available for pick-ups and deliveries (and to log Swift's required 40 backing maneuvers). That irritated me a bit - I wanted to do the whole operation myself, but that's how my mentor wanted to do it. Also, it is sad when owner-ops get into training simply to have free labor to drive for them. They would be the last to argue for side-by-side training.

Accidents will more or less happen anyway (but you need to do your best to anticipate and avoid situations!). Most accidents for new drivers will be in trailer lots and dock areas. As I said, your trainer should be up and training you then!

You fail to see logic in this, but, then you're new to this business. The proof is that the team training model is used by most companies. Side-by side training is great for the beginning, but is very inefficient after the first few weeks. Team driving is safer and cheaper than allowing inexperienced drivers out on the road solo to try to figure out each and every situation on their own, or calling the DM for help.

Companies have been training new drivers for years, and each company has developed a way that is all around best for them, balancing efficiency, costs and safety (and not so much about student comfort). Now is not the time for a new, inexperienced student to come up and question their systems.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Pete Randal's Comment
member avatar

Phox....

Please out of respect for drivers, trainers, truckers everywhere and beyond please do not pass judgement i have been watching you troll different blogs, and I gotta say that God gave us two ears and one mouth so that we listen twice as much as we spek.

You are not an instructor......stop instructing,

Listen to the veterans, ask questions, craw before you walk, walk before you jog, jog before you use three points of contact to get into your vehicle, pre-trip before you hold a public forum or throw shade, buckle-up before you hit us proud truck drivers with safety advice yourself,

To ensure that you are the king of your own kingpin make sure there is not only not a gap between the apron and the platform but also one in your own judgement of others, like us who are damn few, yet proud bunch,

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

C. S.'s Comment
member avatar

My trainer had one of those "screaming meanie" alarms magnet mounted to the dash. After we started the team portion of training, he had me turn that on and throw it into the bunk whenever I was going to exit the highway (with the exception of rest areas if I was just going to stop for a break) OR any time I felt like I needed his help. He claimed (and I agree) that most rookie mistakes will happen at a shipper/receiver or in a truck stop, usually backing or taking a turn too tight.

I do think the teaming portion of training serves a valuable purpose...it builds confidence in your abilities and allows you to adjust to the solitude you'll be facing when you're done with training. Like Errol said, how much training do you need to drive down the interstate? Keep the truck between the lines and don't miss your exit.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Infidel's Comment
member avatar

Phox wants "proof":

double-quotes-start.png

Also, it is sad when owner-ops get into training simply to have free labor to drive for them. They would be the last to argue for side-by-side training.

This is exactly what happened to me. I can see some benefit to team driving for the person being trained. But I will not do it again.

I dont know how its supposed to work but in my case my trainer was very little help at all. After the first day he was asleep or on the phone. Only too get ****ed when I was doing something wrong. But it seemed like a whirlwind when I was doing it. Seemed like we had very little time for training. But that was probably just him.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Phox wants "proof":

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

Also, it is sad when owner-ops get into training simply to have free labor to drive for them. They would be the last to argue for side-by-side training.

double-quotes-end.png

This is exactly what happened to me. I can see some benefit to team driving for the person being trained. But I will not do it again.

I dont know how its supposed to work but in my case my trainer was very little help at all. After the first day he was asleep or on the phone. Only too get ****ed when I was doing something wrong. But it seemed like a whirlwind when I was doing it. Seemed like we had very little time for training. But that was probably just him.

double-quotes-end.png

It's unfortunate that you had a bad trainer.

Infidel's Comment
member avatar

Sorry I messed that post all up. Was trying to quote just one sentence. Didn't work. And it blocked out yelled? It was funny cause my girlfriend was in the room saying goodbye for the day and she read it. "Wait a minute. This a trucker forum and your not allowed to swear!?" Lol just thought I would share that.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Sorry I messed that post all up. Was trying to quote just one sentence. Didn't work. And it blocked out yelled? It was funny cause my girlfriend was in the room saying goodbye for the day and she read it. "Wait a minute. This a trucker forum and your not allowed to swear!?" Lol just thought I would share that.

I still got your point though. I was fortunate that when I trained I had a true professional as a mentor. Still keep in touch with him to this day.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

G-Town says:

I was fortunate that when I trained I had a true professional as a mentor. Still keep in touch with him to this day.

I'm in your boat, G-Town. I said my mentor would be up and watching me (in a good way) at pickup and delivery.

In fact, I "bumped into" him a month ago. He offered me that he would drop my name to his DM and get me into a regional dedicated operation. That's what I do now.

I was really shocked that Swift does not ask for a mentor evaluation from me when I was done. That feedback would go a long way to make sure the mentors do their job and the trainees really get something out of their time.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
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